I realized this weekend that some of us have more luxury to be good than others.
For example, I heard from someone who taught kids in inner-city schools that the pressure to be in a gang was so high there that like 5 out of 6 teenage boys were in a gang. With all those pressures those kids just don’t have the luxury of being good all the time.
But even apart from our surroundings, doesn’t it just seem like some people are born with meaner hearts than others? You can see it in us even before we are old enough to realize we have a choice. And I know that depending on my surroundings a much better or much worse me can come out, independent of who I’m trying to be.
Islam. Hindu. Buddhism. As far as I understand, these religions rank your eternal standing on how good you are throughout your life. Islam: Like an 80 year score card. Buddhism: Score card Karma. Hinduism: you will pay in this life for what you did in the previous one and the bill for the next life is accruing right now.
But we say that Christ understands that we sate our hunger in all the wrong ways because we are broken, that our addictions are usually stronger than us, and that we know not much of what we do. And if we’ve been terrible for our whole life He won’t let that keep us out of heaven. It appears the only thing that will get us in or out of heaven is what we believe; that we’ve dug ourselves a humongous hole of debt and that He is the only one compassionate enough and reliable enough and big enough to fulfill His promise to reach down and lift us out.
And it looks like there will be rewards in heaven for lives lived well but it will be sad for most of us to get to heaven and realize that with what we were given we wasted most of our lives on fading goals.